Interact Club nears audacious $50,000 goal to fund a Habitat home: How we can help
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Three years ago, a group of students from the Wenatchee High School Interact Club chose to pursue a magnificently audacious dream — raise $50,000 to fund a Habitat for Humanity home in our valley for a family in need.
They recently released a hip-hop video as a fundraising tool that is completely student created, with Jackson Powell creating the lyrics, Gabe Massey adding the music and Wil Jorgensen taking charge of the videography. You can check out the video at artofcommunityncw.com or by searching YouTube for “House of Life Wenatchee.”
I was privileged to meet this week with two current leaders of the Interact Club, sophomore Sophia Dillon and junior Fernando Lopez, and advisor Jon Magnus, to learn more about the effort.
Lopez said he’s confident that they’ll reach the $50,000 target, given the enthusiasm of the club and the giving spirit of the students at the school.
They are following in the footsteps of other leaders in our region who took on massive challenges and refused to quit — leaders that brought us such treasures as the Numerica Performing Arts Center and Rocky Reach Dam, for example. So these young men and women are in good company.
From start to finish, the effort to build a Habitat for Humanity house has been a student-driven affair. Magnus, who started the Rotary-affiliated club 10 years ago along with assistance principal Susan Albert. “The school and the club both wanted to create opportunities for leadership, service and involvement and better understanding of both the local and global community,” Albert told me. “”It has been a great success and a positive influence for students and the adults who have been involved,” she added.
Magnus takes great pride and satisfaction from letting students take the lead and providing encouragement and support along the way. “Lots of kids have heard that the Interact Club does amazing projects and they want to be part of that,” Magnus said. Once they’ve tasted what it feels like to do something for someone else without asking for something in return, Magnus said, they are hooked. “You get an appetite to keep things going,” he added.
Later this spring, the club will put on their annual Heart of Humanity dinner to raise funds to support the project. They had a recent disappointment when a local contractor offered to donate $10,000 worth of services and club members thought the finish line was in sight, but that didn’t fit with Habitat for Humanity rules. But they remain undaunted.
Another beautiful part about this story is that once the funds are raised, Interact students will be able to help with construction of the house. This is the power of contribution at work in our community, inspired by some dedicated high school students.
For Dillon, the club treasurer, volunteering has been a big part of her career at Wenatchee High. She has been heavily involved in Youth United, a United Way leadership effort, and Key Club. The Interact project was a natural fit for her.
Being part of something bigger than just doing things for themselves inspires the students, she told me.
Here’s how we can help get this project over the finish line:
– Watch the YouTube video and, when it is finished, click on the link in the description, which will take you to a donation page set up on the Wenatchee High School web site.
– Share the link widely and encourage your friends, neighbors and coworkers to donate a little to the cause
– Get tickets for the upcoming Heart of Humanity Dinner at the high school.
Let’s show these young people how much we appreciate their efforts as they help build a stronger sense of community at the high school and in our valley.